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Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Inheritance Lecture 10 Chapter 8.

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Presentation on theme: "Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Inheritance Lecture 10 Chapter 8."— Presentation transcript:

1 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Inheritance Lecture 10 Chapter 8

2 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-152 Inheritance Another fundamental object-oriented technique is inheritance, used to organize and create reusable classes –deriving new classes from existing classes –creating class hierarchies –the protected modifier –inheritance hierarchies for interfaces –inheritance used in graphical user interfaces

3 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-153 Inheritance Inheritance allows a software developer to derive a new class from an existing one The existing class is called the parent class, or superclass, or base class The derived class is called the child class or subclass. As the name implies, the child inherits characteristics of the parent. (data & methods)

4 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Inheritance To tailor a derived class, the programmer can add new variables or methods, or can modify the inherited ones Software reuse is at the heart of inheritance By using existing software components to create new ones, we capitalize on all the effort that went into the design, implementation, and testing of the existing software

5 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-155 Inheritance Inheritance relationships often are shown graphically in a UML class diagram, with an arrow with an open arrowhead pointing to the parent class Inheritance should create an is-a relationship, meaning the child is a more specific version of the parent Vehicle Car

6 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-156 Deriving Subclasses In Java, we use the reserved word extends to establish an inheritance relationship class Car extends Vehicle { // class contents }

7 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-157 The protected Modifier Visibility modifiers determine which class members are inherited and which are not Variables and methods declared with public visibility are inherited; those with private visibility are not, but public variables violate the principle of encapsulation There is a third visibility modifier that helps in inheritance situations: protected

8 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-158 The protected Modifier The protected modifier allows a member of a base class to be inherited into a child Protected visibility provides more encapsulation than public visibility does However, protected visibility is not as tightly encapsulated as private visibility Protected variables and methods can be shown with a # symbol preceding them in UML diagrams

9 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 UML Diagram for Words Book # pages : int + pageMessage() : void Dictionary - definitions : int + definitionMessage() : void Words + main (args : String[]) : void

10 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-1510 The super Reference Constructors are not inherited, even though they have public visibility Yet we often want to use the parent's constructor to set up the "parent's part" of the object The super reference can be used to refer to the parent class, and often is used to invoke the parent's constructor

11 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 The super Reference A child’s constructor is responsible for calling the parent’s constructor The first line of a child’s constructor should use the super reference to call the parent’s constructor The super reference can also be used to reference other variables and methods defined in the parent’s class

12 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Multiple Inheritance Java supports single inheritance, meaning that a derived class can have only one parent class Multiple inheritance allows a class to be derived from two or more classes, inheriting the members of all parents Collisions, such as the same variable name in two parents, have to be resolved Java does not support multiple inheritance

13 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-1513 Overriding Methods A child class can override the definition of an inherited method in favor of its own The new method must have the same signature as the parent's method, but can have a different body The type of the object executing the method determines which version of the method is invoked

14 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Overriding A parent method can be invoked explicitly using the super reference If a method is declared with the final modifier, it cannot be overridden The concept of overriding can be applied to data and is called shadowing variables Shadowing variables should be avoided because it tends to cause unnecessarily confusing code

15 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-1515 Overloading vs. Overriding Don't confuse the concepts of overloading and overriding Overloading deals with multiple methods with the same name in the same class, but with different signatures Overriding deals with two methods, one in a parent class and one in a child class, that have the same signature Overloading lets you define a similar operation in different ways for different data Overriding lets you define a similar operation in different ways for different object types

16 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-1516 Class Hierarchies A child class of one parent can be the parent of another child, forming a class hierarchy Business KMartMacys ServiceBusiness Kinkos RetailBusiness

17 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-1517 Class Hierarchies Two children of the same parent are called siblings Common features should be put as high in the hierarchy as is reasonable Therefore, a child class inherits from all its ancestor classes There is no single class hierarchy that is appropriate for all situations

18 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-1518 The Object Class A class called Object is defined in the java.lang package of the Java standard class library All classes are derived from the Object class If a class is not explicitly defined to be the child of an existing class, it is assumed to be the child of the Object class. Therefore, the Object class is the ultimate root of all class hierarchies

19 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 The Object Class The Object class contains a few useful methods, which are inherited by all classes For example, the toString method is defined in the Object class. The toString method in the Object class is defined to return a string that contains the name of the object’s class together along with some other information

20 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 The Object Class All objects are guaranteed to have a toString method via inheritance Thus the println method can call toString for any object that is passed to it

21 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 The Object Class The equals method of the Object class returns true if two references are aliases We can override equals in any class to define equality in some more appropriate way The String class (as we've seen) defines the equals method to return true if two String objects contain the same characters Therefore the String class has overridden the equals method inherited from Object in favor of its own version

22 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Abstract Classes An abstract class is a placeholder in a class hierarchy that represents a generic concept An abstract class cannot be instantiated We use the modifier abstract on the class header to declare a class as abstract: public abstract class Whatever { // contents }

23 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Abstract Classes An abstract class often contains abstract methods with no definitions (like an interface does) Unlike an interface, the abstract modifier must be applied to each abstract method An abstract class typically contains non-abstract methods (with bodies), further distinguishing abstract classes from interfaces A class declared as abstract does not need to contain abstract methods

24 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Abstract Classes The child of an abstract class must override the abstract methods of the parent, or it too will be considered abstract An abstract method cannot be defined as final (because it must be overridden) or static (because it has no definition yet) The use of abstract classes is a design decision – it helps us establish common elements in a class that is too general to instantiate

25 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-1525 Indirect Use of Members An inherited member can be referenced directly by name in the child class, as if it were declared in the child class But even if a method or variable is not inherited by a child, it can still be accessed indirectly through parent methods

26 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-1526 References and Inheritance An object reference can refer to an object of its class, or to an object of any class related to it by inheritance Holiday day; day = new Christmas(); Holiday Christmas

27 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-1527 References and Inheritance Assigning a predecessor object to an ancestor reference is considered to be a widening conversion, and can be performed by simple assignment Assigning an ancestor object to a predecessor reference can be done also, but it is considered to be a narrowing conversion and must be done with a cast

28 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Interface Hierarchies Inheritance can be applied to interfaces as well as classes The child interface inherits all abstract methods of the parent A class implementing the child interface must define all methods from both the ancestor and child interfaces

29 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Inheritance and GUIs Recall that when we define an applet, we extend the Applet class or the JApplet class The Applet and JApplet classes already handle all the details about applet creation and execution, including: –interaction with a Web browser –accepting applet parameters through HTML –enforcing security restrictions

30 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Inheritance and GUIs Our applet classes only have to deal with issues that specifically relate to what our particular applet will do When we define the paint method of an applet, for instance, we are actually overriding a method defined in the Component class, which is ultimately inherited into the Applet or JApplet class

31 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 The Component Class Hierarchy The Java classes that define GUI components are part of a class hierarchy Swing GUI components typically are derived from the JComponent class which is derived from the Container class which is derived from the Component class Many Swing components can serve as (limited) containers, because they are derived from the Container class

32 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Timer Class A Timer object generates action events at regular intervals and can be used to control animation pp. 473

33 Aalborg Media Lab 23-Jun-15 Exercises –8.1, 8.2, 8.3 Programming Projects –8.2, 8.6, 8.7

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